Highway fatalities in California have decreased according to a recent study by the Reason Foundation. The nonprofit group has been tracking highway conditions throughout the country since 1984, utilizing the most recent statistics to compile a report each year, explains a California car accident attorney. For this year’s 19th Annual Highway Report, the group used statistics from 2008, rating California three places lower than the previous year: the state’s ranking dropped from 16th to 13th in the nation for the highway fatality rate per 100 million miles driven.
California’s ranking, however, did not change in other categories: urban interstate congestion (50th), highway performance and cost effectiveness (48th), and urban interstate conditions (49th). Not only do Californians endure the worst traffic in the country, they must also drive over the most potholes on urban Interstates-although, Hawaiians also share this latter problem. A quarter of all urban interstate pavement in California and Hawaii is in poor condition.
With hazardous road conditions and the nation’s most congested highways, how is the fatality rate so low in California? The correlation between road conditions, traffic, and fatality rates seems paradoxical, especially after examining the rankings of states with high fatality rates, such as West Virginia.
Despite receiving the 4th highest highway-fatality ranking (47th), West Virginia ranked much lower than California in the categories of road conditions and traffic: the state placed 28th in urban interstate conditions and 8th in urban interstate congestion. Many West Virginia Injury Lawyers found the high fatality-rate ranking quite disturbing.
“Californians are well aware of how bad the traffic and road conditions are here,” remarked a California car accident attorney, “but many were pleasantly surprised by the low fatality ranking.”
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